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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Even seemingly innocent ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeries can have severe and enduring consequences when medical neglect is at play. However, victims of medical negligence can collect damages via ENT malpractice claims.

With over twenty years of experience, our medical malpractice lawyers possess the skills and resources required to hold ENT physicians accountable for their negligent acts. 

They will put forth every effort to assist you in obtaining the best possible legal outcome while you focus on recovering.

Quick Summary

  • Otolaryngology is a medical specialty involving the treatment and diagnosis of the ear, nose, and throat.
  • ENT doctors can get sued for malpractice if they breach the accepted standards of care. 
  • Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help individuals injured by ENT doctors gather arguments to support their compensation.

What Does an ENT Doctor Do?

An ENT doctor checking up on a patient in a hospital

An ENT doctor treats serious health concerns affecting the ears, nose, and throat. They may perform endoscopic sinus surgery, removal of tonsils, and cosmetic surgeries [1]. 

ENT doctors are one of the most commonly sought specialists treating more than twenty million patients annually to address problems that enhance your general quality of life. Sinusitis, sleep apnea, thyroid, larynx, laryngeal cancers, and tonsillitis are among the conditions that ENT doctors treat.

“I like to say that ENT specialists treat pretty much everything from the collarbone up, except for the brain and eyes. So much of this work, medical and surgical, affects how people perceive themselves as human beings, and it is a unique privilege to care for my patient’s ENT health due to the personal and profound nature of this specialty.”
William R. Blythe, Otolaryngologist

Do Ears & Nose Doctors Get Sued for Malpractice?

Yes, ears & nose doctors get sued for malpractice. In many cases, people suffering due to an otolaryngologist’s incompetence can recover damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit.

A study conducted to examine malpractice litigation found that half of the 10.000 ENT doctors in the U.S. have faced at least one medical malpractice case in the past [2]

This study looked at seventy-five medical malpractice cases and found that most of them headed to trial rather than settling out of court. The two main legal arguments brought up focused on improper surgical performance or breaching standards of care. 

Eye injuries were prevalent, with intracranial issues coming close behind, but disease progression was compensated for the highest amount.

What Do ENT Doctors Get Sued For?

A lawyer explaining what ENT doctors get sued forENT doctors get sued for mistakes made during surgical procedures or breaching the accepted standards of care. 

For example, ENT doctors frequently use a variety of tests, including blood tests, CT scans, and X-rays, depending on the symptoms of the patients [3].

However, when an ENT doctor doesn’t request the proper test or fails to perform surgery appropriately, the underlying issue could worsen and result in severe risks.

Those harmed by incompetent care should take legal action to protect their rights. When pursuing malpractice litigation against a doctor, the plaintiff must show proof that it was due to the standard of care not being met by them, which caused losses and injuries.

Related Article: How to Sue a Doctor?

What Is the Average Value of ENT Malpractice Lawsuits?

The average value of ENT malpractice lawsuits in the United States is around $300.000, depending on which state the case is filed in and the gravity of the plaintiff’s injury.

While ENT malpractice claims that go to trial may average $1 million, minor settlements only cover out-of-pocket expenses. The largest medical malpractice settlement in the U.S. was $229 million.

Related Articles:

Medical Malpractice Mistakes

An ENT practitioner doing malpractice on a patientMalpractice is an unfortunate consequence that can occur in any surgery. From the obvious – a doctor leaving something inside a patient – to more nuanced medical error cases.

In one particularly unfortunate case in Montgomery County, an ENT doctor mistakenly implanted a device meant to treat a woman’s orbital floor fracture, resulting in her losing all sight permanently. 

While rarer instances may be easier identified, still much depends on whether or not accepted standards of care have been met in every case, which can be determined with further investigation.

Diagnostic Negligence

Diagnostic negligence occurs when medical professionals fail to provide proper screenings, disregard patient complaints, forgo further testing or specialist referrals despite concerning results, and ignore critical information like previous diagnoses and family history.

For example, an ENT doctor was sued earlier this year for violating the proper standards of care in Maryland. 

The surgery was intended to remove the now six-year-old boy’s adenoid glands after recurring ear infections [4]. The anesthesiologist raised concerns about the risks, but the primary surgeon insisted on moving forward with the procedure regardless.

This decision caused the boy’s heart to stop for eleven minutes during the surgery.

After associated court proceedings, a federal judge handed down $14.2 million to the parents of the child who suffered from permanent and severe brain damage from medical negligence.

Related Article: Eye Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit Info

ENT Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements

A lawyer looking up a law in a law book about ENT malpractice

Patients have reported various otolaryngology malpractice cases, and previous verdicts reveal that justice is being served.

Below are some examples of medical malpractice settlement amounts:

  • Up to $10.000 – This could be available for minor cases, such as resolved allergic reactions or improper IV insertion or shots.
  • $10.000–$30.000 – For short-term disabilities that may include missed diagnosis and minor surgical errors.
  • $30.000–$100.000 – medical malpractice cases that require minor surgery or rehabilitation.
  • $100.000–$500.000 – If surgery is needed due to medical malpractice.
  • Over $1.000.000 – Severe negligence cases such as wrongful death potentially qualify claimants for damages over seven figures.

FAQs

How Do You Determine if You Have a Case of Medical Malpractice?

You determine if you have a case of medical malpractice based on variables like the statute of limitations, past and future financial losses, province-specific regulations, the likelihood of recovery, and the type of injury sustained. 

Which Specialty Has the Highest Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

The specialty that has the highest medical malpractice lawsuits is obstetricians/gynecologists, followed by surgeons and orthopedists [5]

Contact Schmidt & Clark, LLP About ENT Malpractice

A malpractice risk involving the ears, throat, and nose is dangerously close to the brain and may result in severe injury or even death. 

Over the course of a decade (2010-2019), there were ninety-four cases involving otolaryngology with evidence of court proceedings.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to an ENT malpractice, you deserve to get compensated for your emotional and financial losses. At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, we have substantial experience handling ENT claims, and we can help you practice your rights.


References:

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1945892420920479
  2. https://thedailyrecord.com/2022/07/27/family-wins-14-million-medical-malpractice-verdict-over-sons-botched-surgery/
  3. https://northdallasent.com/blog/what-does-an-ent-doctor-do/
  4. https://thedailyrecord.com/2022/07/27/family-wins-14-million-medical-malpractice-verdict-over-sons-botched-surgery/
  5. https://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/public/malpractice-report-2015

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